A friend asked if I had ever eaten sambal buah binjai and I said no. She then sent me an article "Now is the season for buah binjai", which started me looking for the binjai fruit.
I recalled one of the morning walkers who walks the McRitchie trail gave me a large brown mango like fruit many years ago but I didn't know what to do with it. It ended up in the bin after it started to rot.
Despite efforts to locate the fruit I failed as the fruit wasn't in season. I went to Tekka Market as the article had mentioned it as one of the markets that will have buah binjai. Unfortunately, most vegetable stall vendors hadn't heard of the fruit. One vendor had and he told me to come back on a Saturday when the shipment arrives but he mistook my inquiry to be that of buah belinjau. This vendor also mentioned that I needn't buy them as there were plenty along Jalan Kampong Chantek, which lead me on a wild goose chase since Kampong Chantek is next to Binjai Park, which used to be where binjai orchards were found. I very nearly gave up my search but I made a last ditch effort by asking other friends and it paid off.
One friend mentioned that he knows the fruit, and will buy me some when he comes across the fruits. No more than three weeks passed since our conversation before he pings me to say that he has bought buah binjai for me from Geylang Serai Market.
I went to Geylang the next day and every single vegetable stall had buah binjai on display.
Chats with several vendors yielded information that the fruit just came into season. If you want to try it head on down now to buy it. You can find a recipe for sambal buah binjai in the "Now is the season for buah binjai" link above.
If you wondered (like me) what a Binjai tree looked like? Here's some information - the Binjai (mangifera caesia) is a relative of the mango tree. It is found from the Southern Thailand down the Peninsular and into Indonesia and the Southern Philippines.You can learn more from NParks' Tree Info Kit and you can also check out the Heritage Register for the four heritage tree locations.
|The heritage tree behind No. 70 Jalan Naung|
|The hidden signage in the undergrowth|